Pharmaceuticals are Present in all the World’s Rivers

Did you know that eighty percent of the global wastewater ends up in the environment? Pharmaceutical drugs are a part of this wastewater. Surprisingly, we use drugs to treat our bodies when sick. After polluting our rivers with pharmaceuticals, we will pose a different threat to humans and animals. As you enjoy your free spiny online, recall that elsewhere we are ruining lives with pharmaceutical waste. We will tell you more about this global crisis. 

How extensive is pharmaceutical pollution

In one research by York University, UK, researchers inspected more than one thousand water samples collected from 250 rivers in a hundred and four nations. They found only two rivers that had no pharmaceutical pollution. The natives of those areas use ethnic medicine to heal diseases. 

Some places in Asia, Africa, and Europe had around thirty-four different pharmaceuticals. Twenty per cent of rivers with the biggest concentration of drugs were in America and Europe. Even faraway and secluded places like Antarctica had at least four polluted rivers. The over 1000 samples represented all continents and the entire world. So, the team concluded that pharmaceutical pollution in rivers is another global crisis we must face. If we do not act now, it will be harder to deliver the United Nations’ goal of sustainable development. It will be impossible to provide clean water for drinking and sanitation for everyone by 2030. 

Common drugs found in the rivers

Many rivers had traces of drugs used to treat epilepsy, diabetes, and bacterial infections. Do you know that close to five million people died from antibiotic-resistant diseases in 2019? That is the truth, according to the Lancet Journal published in January this year. Damping antibiotics in the rivers is one reason why bacteria are resisting antibiotics. The York University researchers found the most antibiotics in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In about sixty-four rivers, they found high levels of an antibiotic called ciprofloxacin. These are higher than what the researchers considered normal. 

Our rivers are now a health risk

According to the same researchers from York University, river pollution could reduce the fish population in the future. A high concentration of contraceptives in rivers could reduce the reproduction rate of fish. People and animals could develop deadly diseases because of drinking polluted water. 

In addition to pharmaceuticals, the most polluted rivers have sewage, industrial waste, and more trash. All of these can damage the health of people. Earlier we explained how antibiotics damped in rivers can increase the proliferation of bacteria that are harder to kill. 

We can reduce the damage by treating the wastewater before dumping it into rivers. Eighty percent of untreated wastewater getting into the surroundings is a prime concern. Nations need to act fast to save the current and future generations. Otherwise, we will have a vicious cycle of using drugs to treat health conditions and using them to create new illnesses. Water-treatment plants, hospitals, drug manufacturing industries, and all those who pollute water should avoid discharging untreated waste.


Pharmaceutical waste in rivers is too much. Many drugs we consume to heal diseases are finding their way into the rivers. These rivers provide water for drinking and sanitation. If we pollute them, we will produce new drug-resistant illnesses. Above all, we will destroy ecosystems that support various animals.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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